- 2 lbs. white chocolate
Once the chocolate is melted, pour it evenly over the contents of both cookie sheets. Using a small plastic bag, insert your hand into it and butter the palm of your hand on the outside of the bag. Moving quickly, spread the chocolate over the stuff on the pans - using more Pam, if necessary.
Once the mixture is spread out well, sprinkle with additional candy, craisins, pretzels and cashews and press lightly into the still soft chocolate. Let sit until the candy is completely set and cooled. Break up into pieces to serve. Store in sealable plastic bag.
Note: To make this gluten-free (and I do!) check all your ingredients to be sure all candy, chocolate and pretzels are GF. And enjoy!
Aunt Katie's Halloween Treats
Makes 30 balls
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 packages puffed rice cereal -- In a bag.
Pour over cereal while warm and mix well with wooden spoon (a strong one!). Butter hands and shape into balls (working quickly before it hardens in the pan). Wrap individually in squares of wax paper.
(145 Calories each)
NOTES : If you make these with gluten-free puffed rice, they are GF!
|Wine-Braised Short Ribs|
- 3 lbs. meaty, bone-in short ribs
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- canola oil
- 1 C. red wine, use whatever you like to drink...besides, you probably already have it in the house!
- 1 C. brewed coffee
- 1 1/2 large onions, chopped roughly
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 C. chopped carrots
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 1-2 T. tomato paste
- 1 T. honey
Turn down the heat, add the onion, garlic and carrots to the skillet and stir until slightly softened. Make a sauce by adding the red wine, coffee, tomato paste and honey to the skillet and scrape up all the good browned bits from the bottom.
Crispy Grits Cakes Eggs Benedict with Lemon Aioli
- 2 grits cakes - cut into rounds 3-4" in diameter with a BIG biscuit or cookie cutter
- 2 slices Canadian bacon
- 2 slices tomato, good, fresh summer ones!
- 2 eggs, poached however you do yours
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard, Colemans!
- just a pinch of cayenne
Preheat a skillet, add a drizzle of vegetable oil and sizzle up the Canadian bacon and the cheese grits rounds in the same pan. When done, place one round topped with the Canadian bacon on each serving plate. Top each with a tomato slice and a poached egg. Drizzle with lemon aioli and serve!
Aioli: Blend well the mayo, lemon juice and dry mustard. Warm in microwave - just take the chill off.
Don't have a cheese grits recipe? Here's the one I used:
Parmesan Cheese Grits
- 1 cup yellow corn grits - I used Bob's Red Mill
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 T. butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parm - I used the good stuff, Parmaesano Reggiano
Bring broth and cream just to a boil. Whisk in the grits very slowly and continue whisking constantly until they're all in. Lower the heat to medium and continue stirring occasionally until the grits are creamy and completely cooked - maybe 15-20 minutes. Stir in butter completely. They will be thick! They will pop and bubble! Be very careful and don't get burned. Enjoy as a side with anything grilled or whatever strikes your fancy....use the leftovers to make the crispy grits cakes!
Pour the sauce over the ribs in the crockpot, nestle the oregano and bay leaves down between the ribs, cover the crockpot and cook on high for 4 1/2 hours. Remove lid and cook an additional hour.
You can serve this right away over buttered noodles (I use gluten-free, of course), but I like to refrigerate it and serve it the next day...only makes the flavors better! It also allows you to take the solidified fat off the top to save yourself those extra calories!
Note: My favorite gluten-free noodle is by Schar. You cannot tell the difference between the Schar brand and a regular egg noodle!
Halloween Candy Bar Cookies
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped up chocolate Halloween candy (Snickers, Twix, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Milkyway, Etc)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl beat together butter, white sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Next beat in eggs one at a time, and set aside.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until completely combined. Next add in your chopped Halloween candy.
Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving room for the cookies to spread.
Bake until golden brown, about 9-12 minutes depending on oven.
Cool on wire rack and enjoy!
Beautiful Black Beans
1 lb dried black beans -- picked over and rinsed
2 t. salt
1 onion -- chopped fine
1 green bell pepper -- chopped
1 red bell pepper -- chopped
4 garlic cloves -- minced
1 T. cumin
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. tomato paste
2 T. red wine vinegar
Soak dried beans in cold water to cover by at least 2" for an hour; drain.
In a large heavy pot, simmer beans in water, keeping the water at about 1" above beans. Add water as necessary to keep them barely covered for 1-2 hours or until tender. Add the salt and simmer for another 5 minutes.
While beans are cooking, saute the onion and peppers, garlic and cumin in oil over moderate heat, stirring until veggies are softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes.
When the beans are tender, stir the veggie mixture into the beans, add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and simmer until the mixture is thickened how you like them.
- 1 soft corn tortilla
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons queso fresco, crumbled (or feta or cheddar or whatever you like!)
- 1 tablespoon black beans, drained, rinsed (this is where I use my homemade black beans instead of canned. Of course, don’t rinse the homemade ones!)
- 2 tablespoons guacamole, homemade (or bought!)
- 1 tablespoon chorizo, cooked and crumbled (optional)
- taco sauce, the thin kind, not salsa
- sour cream or crema
- cilantro, choppoed, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
Season the egg with salt and pepper, crumble the cheese on top of the egg, sprinkle with the beans and the chorizo. Turn the heat down to medium and cover with a lid. Cook how you like your fried eggs (I like mine done easy so the yolk oozes) and remove to a plate.
Top the huevos rancheros with guac, taco sauce and cilantro….maybe a little sour cream or crema if you wish. The tortilla is crisp and crunchy, the egg and the toppings stay right in place, and you can pick it up and eat it all right down. YUM!
Maple Bourbon Bacon Cupcakes
2 ½ cups all-purpose floour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons ground ginger
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups real maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ lbs crumbled cooked bacon (this is for the topping)
Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Beat softened butter, bacon drippings, and brown sugar with mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside.
In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Stir flour mixture and buttermilk gradually into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Fill lined muffin cups and bake 20-24 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before icing.
NOTE: If you do not want to use bacon drippings in the cupcakes you can sub the 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings for 1 tablespoon of butter.
Maple- Bourbon icing ingredients :
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups dark-brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup real maple syrup
¼ cup bourbon ( I use Jim Beam Black)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Maple- Bourbon icing directions:
Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt until light and fluffy, this should take 3-5 minutes. Continue beating and add the maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy. Chill icing 1 hour before using. If the mixture is a little runny add more powdered sugar until consistency is right.
Frost the cupcakes when they are fully cooled and top with crumbled bacon.
If you want to make these cupcakes for kids or for your straight-edge friends omit the bourbon and use ¾ cup maple syrup instead of ½ cup
Cooking bacon in the oven:
I cook my bacon in the oven using a cookie sheet covered in foil. Put the bacon strips on the covered cookie sheet and put in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 (do not preheat to cook the bacon) and cook for 15-20. Make sure to keep an eye on the bacon while cooking so it does not burn. When crisp take out the bacon and put bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, blot excess grease from cooked bacon. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of bacon drippings and set aside, this should be easy to do if you line the cookie sheet with foil. Crumble bacon when cool.
Here's the very simple recipe:
- 1 pound 80% lean hamburger
- 1/4 of a medium onion, finely minced
- 1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning mix - I like SPICY...make yours the heat you like
Lightly mix all the ingredients. Shape into 4 burgers or flattened cylinders and grill to your desired doneness. At the end, layer on your favorite cheese - American, pepperjack, cheddar - and when the cheese is melted you're ready to rock. Add a side of refried beans! Ole!
Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 T cornstarch
- 2 T taco seasoning (I use hot taco seasoning)
- 2 bell peppers, cut into bite size pieces (go crazy and use green AND red!)
- 1 med. onion, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 C frozen corn
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ C jarred salsa (again, I use hot)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (sometimes I use the, sometimes I don’t)
- Cooked rice
- shredded cheese (cheddar, pepperjack, Mexican – whatever you like)
Mix the cornstarch and taco seasoning together, dredge the chicken in the mixture and put the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker.Mix in the peppers, onions, corn, tomatoes, salsa and black beans (if you’re using them).Cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on your slow cooker.Serve over rice and top with cheese. Ole!
Hot n Spicy Chili
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green – large ones,chopped
- 3 onions -- large, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic -- chopped
- 1 t basil
- 7 T chili powder (that’s right! SEVEN – I use 5 Hot Mexican and 2 chipotle chili powders – sometimes more!
- 1 T oregano
- 4 T cumin – heaping! – yep, sometimes I use more!
- 1 can black beans -- drained
- 1 can kidney beans -- dark red, drained
- 2 - 32 oz cans whole tomatoes – break these up roughly
- 3 T coffee powder, instant
- 1 - 12 oz can beer – I use gluten-free beer
- 1 T salt
- fresh ground black pepper -- to taste – lots
- 1 T granulated garlic
In large soup pot, saute crumbled ground beef, stirring well and breaking up the beef. When the beef is browned thoroughly, drain in a colander while you cook the veggies.
Add olive oil to pot, and saute peppers, onions and garlic. Add drained beef and rest of the ingredients. Let simmer and taste to adjust seasonings, adding whatever you think the mixture might still need...salt, more chili powder, cumin, etc.
Simmer for 1-2 hours. This freezes really well!
Roasted Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Orange Balsamic Drizzle